Chandni Chowk revamping works gain pace once again as Delhi unlocks


Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  After a hiatus caused by the pandemic-induced lockdown, the redevelopment and beautification works of Chandni Chowk have resumed. Officials associated with the project said agencies are making efforts to complete the works by the revised deadline of July 31.

The works have been stalled since April 19 when the Delhi government decided to impose a lockdown as Covid-19 situation deteriorated in the city.

A representative of the government agency said that labourers had started returning to the city and hopefully, 100 per cent strength would be available.

“At present, we are working with 30-35 per cent strength. Majority of civil works has been completed. Works at Red Fort Junction and some patches near Town Hall are to be finished,” he said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was to unveil the project on April 17, but the event was cancelled as Covid-19 cases started rising exponentially.

The Delhi High Court-monitored project for revamping the Mughal-era heritage market started in December 2018. After completion of the project, no motor vehicle would be allowed to ply on the 1.3-km-long stretch from Red Fort crossing to Fatehpuri Mosque from 9 am to 9 pm.

As per the plan, only cycle rickshaws would be allowed. However, the government is considering introducing free electric vehicle service for elderly and disabled people.

“The works restarted when construction activities were allowed as part of unlocking. Soon, it will pick up pace and we will be working in full swing. We are yet to install streetlights and CCTVs in the market. Red Fort’s scrambling crossing is the main task, which may take some time. Some plantation is also to be done near the Town Hall crossing,” said another government official.

In March, the PWD had decided to convert Red Fort crossing into a pedestrian-friendly zone. The intersection usually witnesses heavy traffic throughout the day as hundreds of buyers visit the market.

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